South Florida environmentalist sentenced to 60 days and 30 days in the
Palm Beach County Jail for protesting FPL
Who: Opponents of Florida Power and Light’s West County Energy Center
What: Discuss the excessive sentencing of Lynne Purvis and Panagioti Tsolkas
Where: At the Main Entrance to the Palm Beach County Jail on Gun Club Road
When: 8:30 AM
Palm Beach County, FL- After being found guilty of misdemeanor trespassing, blocking traffic in an act of civil disobedience during the February 2008 protest against Florida Power Light’s West County Energy Center, Lynne Purvis and Panagioti Tsolkas are sentenced to 30 and 60 days in jail.
During their court case, Purvis and Tsolkas argued that the environmental damages caused by FPL’s power plant necessitated non- violent civil disobedience. Scientist
Dr. John van Leer and Dr. Sydney Bachus testified in defense of Purvis and Tsolkas, arguing that the completion of the FPL West County Energy Center could lead to higher levels of Mercury in the Loxahatchee Preserve area and aquifer contamination; in addition to the acceleration of global warming. The State Attorney’s Office contested the environmentalists’ claims, arguing that proposed power plant impact on global warming was not an imminent threat.
Once open, the Florida Power and Light West County Energy Center will be the largest fossil fuel burning power plan in the United States, emitting twelve million tons of potentially toxic carbon emissions and dispensing 13.5 million gallons of contaminated water into Florida’s aquifer every year.
In addition to jail, Judge Johnson sentence restrains Purvis and Tsolkas from coming within 500 feet of FPL property. Both remain committed to protecting Palm Beach County’s natural resources.
Co-defendant Russell McSpadden responded to the Judge’s sentence stating, “The FPL West County Energy Center poses an imminent and severe threat to our quality of life in Palm Beach County. We are dissapointed with the Judge’s decision to jail environmental activists who took action to stop FPL from contaminating the air and water of Palm Beach County. We believe during this time of global climate change that average citizens must step up and take action to address the impacts large corporations are having on our environment. ”
For More Information:
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition